What is DEET? How does it repel mosquitoes?

While DEET is a widely used and effective insect repellent, some people may prefer alternative options, such as natural essential oils, due to concerns about the chemical nature of DEET. As with any insect repellent, it’s essential to choose a product that suits individual preferences and needs.

DEET, which stands for N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, is a common active ingredient found in many insect repellent products. It is a synthetic chemical that was developed by the United States Army in 1946 for use by military personnel in insect-infested areas. DEET is effective at repelling a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies.

Here are some key points about DEET:

  1. Repellent Properties: DEET works by masking the scent that attracts insects to humans. It doesn’t kill the insects but makes it difficult for them to locate and bite treated skin.
  2. Effectiveness: DEET is known for its high effectiveness in repelling a variety of insects. It is widely used in many commercial insect repellent products.
  3. Concentration: Insect repellents containing DEET are available in various concentrations, typically ranging from 5% to 100%. Higher concentrations generally provide longer-lasting protection.
  4. Safety Precautions: While DEET is considered safe for use in insect repellents when used as directed, it’s important to follow product instructions carefully. Avoid applying DEET to open wounds, cuts, or irritated skin. It should also be used with caution on children, and lower concentrations are recommended for them.
  5. Duration of Protection: The duration of protection provided by DEET varies based on its concentration. Higher concentrations tend to provide longer-lasting protection but may require reapplication less frequently.

DEET or essential oils are a great way to deter mosquitoes.  A professional mosquito control program like we offer would eliminate the need to use these products at your home.